Mitra Sorrells, Associate Editor at BizBash Media, recently interviewed marketing aficionado Seth Godin about the changes he thinks meeting and event planners must make in order to attract quality attendees to their conferences.
Godin is the author of 17 books about marketing, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, and his most recent book, V is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone.
MARKETING IS STORYTELLING
Up until 1994, Godin stated that marketing and advertising were one in the same. However, in 1994, marketing became more about telling a story as to how your product is remarkable through the lens of your customers.
Help speakers tell their story through the PowerPoint presentation equipment and video wall rentals which are full of images that tell your conference story.
EVENT PLANNERS SQUANDER EFFECTIVENESS
Seth stated that the trade show portion of an event is ineffective because exhibitors have to compete for the meeting participant's attention.
Event organizers don't engage with attendees all year long. Instead they engage only at the meeting and once it is over, the attendee is a distant thought.
He said event planners need to shift their thinking to see the attendee is a treasured guest who has many choices and at this particular moment chose to be at your conference. Focus your attention on your attendees and all will be right with the world.
MOST MEASUREMENTS ARE OVERRATED
Most conference service organizers are trying to measure their way to meeting success. Attendance is up. Sponsorships are up. So all must be good.
However, they are not focused on attracting the right people to the right place for the right reasons. Having 100 attendees who attend your meeting year-in and year-out is better than having 150 attendees where 80% of them are new each year.
One way to learn if you are on track in delivering quality content is to measure feedback through wireless audience response systems. Find out what attendees want and continue to refine your conference to meet their needs.
FACE-TO-FACE ENGAGEMENT IS STILL NEEDED
Godin states we crave connecting with one another, which only truly happen F2F. We can make all the connections we wish to virtually and even process and chunk down the educational content via our computer, but the reality is meeting planners have a great opportunity to key in on attendees through networking events and interactive, value driven content.
Give attendees a sense of intimacy, even in a large convention environment. Much of this can be captured by unique seating options and if your organization rents iPad devices, through the promotion of second screen technology which offers videos, photos and presentations right in the hands of the attendee.
STOP PLAYING IT SAFE
Seth thinks that meeting planners are under pressure to play it safe, follow industry standards or do what others do. Break the rules and do whatever the attendees want of you. This method will be risky, but it will never be wrong.
AV Event Solutions, now part of the SmartSource Rentals family, has the technology to help you plan a highly interactive and engaging event. From Video Wall rentals to iPads, get the right solutions for you that can meet your budgetary parameters.